Friday Fun: Ethernet Killer

Ethernet Killer is well known meme in many versions. presents: The Etherkiller and Friends says”
“It all started one day with this guy, the origional Etherkiller, developed with a few misc parts to warn new users that the IT department is not to be messed with. You too can make one at home, connect the transmit pins of the RJ-45 to HOT on 110VAC and the recieve pins to Common. Modify to suit tase by varying pinout.”

There is also an European 230V AC versions of Ethernet Killer using SCHUKO and europlug. Check the video Ethernet killer in action – YouTube

Well you shouldn’t be just plugging anything except approved computers onto your production network….
Trying to use those can lead to expensive damages, fire and electrocution.

Please don’t show those pictures to normal users. They might actually think it’s a valid Ethernet over Power interface….

It is said that if something is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

I got the power!
More than with often posted lame “Ethernet killer” cables with basic mains plug.
Do not try this anywhere.


I have not tested to really plugging this to anything. It is potentially very dangerous.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Some technical bits

    This is the extra compact power sourcing equipment (PSE). It can theoretically support over 10 kW, but there is a danger that the Ethernet cable starts to get hot at only few kilowatts.

    Magic smoke releaser!!

    Looks like it will fry the cable before the power even reaches the device?

    If you are lucky it might not fry the cable. Just tested an Ethernet cable with insulation tester – passed 1000V DC insulation test from wire to wire with RJ-45 installed. When current exceeds few amperes continuous the Ethernet cable will become quickly hot.
    Something like 500 mA per wire should not be a problem.

    Keep in mind there exists 600V Industrial Ethernet Cable – would it make the idea more safety compliant?
    Any high voltage RJ-45 connectors?

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Some CAT6 cable is rated as low as 60°C, and some is AWG 24, so if your ambient could be as high as 50°C. the current limitation might be as low as 2-3A. See, for example, this and this.

    Edit: If the length could be as long as 10m, and assuming AWG24 size– resistance is nominally 84 ohms/km so 0.84Ω
    /10m, so three in parallel, round trip, would be 0.56 ohm at 20°C. If 5% voltage drop (250mV) was acceptable, that would be a current of 440mA maximum, so maybe 350-400mA maximum allowing for temperature.

    802.3at Type 2 POE limits the current to 600ma per “mode” (pair of pairs) which is equivilent to 300ma per core.

    So if you assume the IEEE got it right then you can safely deliver about 900ma on a setup with three positive wires and three negative wires. I expect the IEEE were pretty conservative to allow for less than ideal installation methods and that with a single cable in free air you could go somewhat higher.

    It depends on whether cable is 24 or 23 awg, and what length of cable, and whether pure copper or copper around aluminium.

    I would suggest between roughly 1.5 amps and 2.2 amps based on quality of cable based on googling limit for power transmission on 23 and 24 gauge wire, lowest end for cheapest copper clad aluminium 24 gauge wire.

    Longer length of wire you suffer from voltage drop because only 5volt power, normally in POE applications they step it up to 48v and then step down again to 5 volt.

    Please, stick to the NFPA 79 Standard, Table 13.5.1, which specify the allowable ampacities for conductors with smaller sections (30 AWG to 10 AWG) than the NEC ampacities (14 AWG to 2000 kcmil).

    This standard rates 2A for 24 AWG, 90 deg., single conductor.

    And considering 8 carrying conductors inside a same cable, we should apply a 70% derating factor, with an estimate of 1.4A for 24 AWG, 90 deg., 8 carrying conductors.

    This consider could vary according specific manufacturer certifications. Also, this assumes a CAT6 Cable as 24 AWG.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This is not actually a real thing built, almost.
    But could be done and propably will not immediately explode, while terribly going over specifications and all safety regulations. RJ-45 and some cables are officially rated for 125V, but on my tests they can withstand 230V AC or 500V DC between pins… having neutral on pins 3 and 6 the 230/400V could possibly pass throug – not recommended and dangerous.


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